Welcome to the Northfield Community Middle School, where creativity is only limited by your imaginations. Our 5th through 8th grade students are provided with an exemplary education that prepares them to be “Life Ready.” Our passionate staff is dedicated to providing students with design thinking skills that empower them to excel with solving everyday problems in society. At our middle school, we empower students to use their own devices (BYOD) to enhance learning and to have a voice with staff and administration to improve OUR school.
We redesigned the hallways into Idea Streets, which invites innovative learning anywhere and anytime. Modeled from the d. School at Stanford University, we implemented new furniture, whiteboards, bikes, turtles, and more. (http://blogs.ncs-nj.org/grobbins/2016/01/18/acpressarticle/). Students are even encouraged to write on windows, desks, and walls!
We created a new Digital Shop, that thrives on design thinking and empathetic/human centered ideas/projects to better the lives of others. Our manifesto is “Becoming Life Ready” and will be featured in Edutopia monthly over the 2015-2016 school year. During this process they have developed 3D prosthetic hands for children of need, worked with Thomas Jefferson University in designing pediatric unit projects, designed video games from books for children, worked with those in need from the community, and other activities that served a purpose.
We also created a gamified Learning Management System that allows students to control their own pace of learning during the course and year. Our LMS, Black Mesa, allows students to learn by various levels of digital citizenship, coding, Google apps,computer aided design,digital storytelling,and design process/thinking. (http://blackmesa.ncs-nj.org/).
Lastly, we created a daily, year long EdCamp course which students design with our teachers. This process of allowing student voice during a 40 minute time period, has completely taken our curriculum, passion, and innovation to new heights, as it is a joint effort with students and staff.(http://blogs.ncs-nj.org/grobbins/2016/01/24/student-led-edcamp-period-takes-ncms-to-new-heights/).
Our BYOD program and wireless infrastructure allows learning to take place anytime, and any where within our school grounds. We firmly believe that by empowering students and staff to utilize technology each day, we are preparing them for their future, not ours.